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HomeIllinois NewsCook County GOP settles bylaws controversy

Cook County GOP settles bylaws controversy




CHICAGO – Last Friday, Illinois Review shared a letter Chicago GOP Chairman Chris Cleveland wrote to Cook County GOP committeemen concerning a proposal Cook County GOP Chairman Sean Morrison attempted to make to the organization's by-laws making it easier for Democrats to gain official standings in the party structure. 

Committeemen from only 29 wards or townships attended Wednesday night's meeting – far less than the number required for a Cook County GOP quorum. Five of those attending were proxies that could not vote on a bylaws change. Thus no vote on a by-law change was held. 

In a response sent to committeemen, Cleveland said those in attendance did pass a resolution reaffirming its commitment to the principle that only genuine Republicans should hold office in the Republican Party, and that the Chicago Democrat Machine's attempt to infiltrate the party is unacceptable.

"Sean Morrison and I reached an agreement that we would work out language for a new bylaw to be voted on next meeting. It will have a requirement that the committeeman have pulled R ballots for at least two, and possibly three, primary cycles prior to the current one. We will also discuss appointments and cooperation on the lawsuits," Cleveland wrote. "I am satisfied with the outcome and I believe Sean is too." 

Chairman Morrison posted on the Cook County GOP website that the Republicans did not reach the required quorum threshold established by the Bylaws of the Cook County Republican Party in order to consider either of the two proposed bylaw amendments Wednesday night.

"That being said, we came away from this meeting with an agreement to strike a compromise between the current voting requirement for Republican Committeemen in Cook County and the proposed amendment to those voting requirements," Morrison worte.  "This compromise strikes a fair balance between our goal to welcome disgruntled Democrats and Independents into our party while also ensuring only genuine Republicans that have demonstrated a strong commitment to growing the party serve in leadership positions.

He continued:

"In the coming weeks, we will introduce a new amendment to the bylaws that strikes the balance we agreed upon this evening. More details will be announced at a later date," Morrison wrote. "Thank you to everyone who came out to tonight's meeting to have their voice heard. We look forward to seeing you again soon."


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  1. Ultimately this whole fiasco is a result of Chris Cleveland’s poor leadership of the Chicago Republican Party.
    Almost all of the Committeemen in question were elected because they were unopposed. They were either unopposed because the Cleveland-led Chicago GOP did not recruit any one, or in cases where they did recruit people, did not even get it in their heads that they had to turn in more than the minimum amount of signatures (which is what happened in the 45th Ward) let alone twice that number to withstand a challenge.
    These are the basic building blocks of building a party and the Chicago GOP needs a leader who can do that thankless work, rather than just the egotistical showboating Chris Cleveland is known for. Matt Podgorski will be the best choice, but it is his first term and he was appointed, not elected in the 39th Ward. Hopefully after the 2020 primaries the party gets someone up to the task like Matt leading it rather than the current Clown-in-Chief.

  2. I spoke with a long-time conservative GOP suburban Township Committeeman (he was elected with 20k votes to represent Republican voters in 5 North suburban towns – it’s not the same as DuPage “committeemen” who are essentially precinct captains) and he told me that he wants nothing more to do with the people running the Cook County Republican organization.
    So what does that tell you about the viability of the necrotic Cook County Republican “organization”?

  3. For the record, Ward Committeemen have the same status as County Chairman under state bylaws, due to the sheer population numbers each Ward represents. So, no, it’s not like a Precinct Committeemen outside of Cook County.
    As far as the amendments are concerned, this has become a drive by attack session on Chris Cleveland. While he and I have rarely seen eye to eye, he did the right thing in this instance.
    The true question is, why does Sean Morrison want to seat Hard Democrats as GOP committeemen? The person Morrison wants to appoint in the 20th Ward currently has a JB Pritzker sign in their front yard! Would you settle for this in Lake, DuPage or Will?
    Let’s face it – Sean has a serious opponent for his County Commissioner Seat. In true Cook County GOP fashion, he figures that if he plays nice with the Dems they’ll give him a pass. How many races do we have to lose to learn that lesson?
    Glad that a compromise was reportedly worked out. I hope everyone holds both sides to that commitment.

  4. No doubt there are Dems who run for GOP committeeman for the wrong reasons. That’s nothing new. And in a world where the likes of Bruce Rauner is the undisputed head of the IL GOP it’s hard to know how anyone gets their undies in such a bunch over these low level spots. And as North Cook Tea Party observed, there is a professional way of dealing with Dem infiltration. It’s called getting other Republicans to run if you don’t like the offering in a particular ward.
    But what’s really disgusting is the fact that at the Cook meeting last week, Morrison and Cleveland again banned two or three black committeemen from even entering the meeting who have been long time R volunteers including for Trump. They weren’t even allowed in the room. And this after they were specifically invited by Morrison and after Cleveland specifically told people the meeting would be open to the public!
    So ban black Trump supporters from a meeting who were elected by GOP primary voters 2 years ago, and then declare no quorum even as you keep elected committeemen out in the hall. Morrison and Cleveland must be working for the Democrats because they sure aren’t working for Republicans.